John Cleese on Political Correctness.

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Darog, Feb 2, 2016.

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  1. Okay, so, no shit flinging please.

    I just want to know what everyone's thoughts is on this?

    I personally tend to agree with John Cleese, as he's one of my favourite comedians and part of my favourite Comedy group too.
  2. I have no grand opinion on political correctness, because I receive equal amounts of ire from the sides that both approve of and disapprove of political correctness. It's too broad a subject and applying to too many people's lives I don't know for me to have a huge bias one way or the other about anyways.

    I prefer to see it in a personal light. If a person tells me I am hurting them with my words or my behavior, and it isn't personally difficult for me to accommodate, I see nothing wrong with accommodating.

    EDIT: I do have issue with the video in that it doesn't provide strict boundaries of a personal opinion of what is political correctness "too far". Such vagueness assumes that all people universally have an opinion of what is too far or not.

    I know people who think trying to tell people not to use the homosexual f-slur or the black people slur is "too far" in political correctness. I also know people who think that retarded should be curtailed as a use. Then there are grey from calling someone an autist as an insult to rape jokes, jew jokes, "chinamen", etc.

    Who gets to determine when political correctness is "too far" as an overall, universal structure? People both anti and for political correctness, who gets to determine?
    #2 Soulless, Feb 2, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
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  3. I agree with him. He makes it simple and to the point. Sure there are millions of intricacies to get into, but he doesn't need to. He's right in a broad way.

    Not really sure what else there is to say on this matter personally.
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  4. Fine. I know this thread is going to go up in flames, but, hell, I'll throw my ten pence in.

    Trigger warning: I have a special place in hell for political correctness. If you employ it or wish to see it employed, my opinion will probably offend you. A lot.

    Political correctness is just another way of saying "my views are superior to yours, because I feel they are superior to yours." At the end of the day, an offensive comment, or joke, or otherwise, is just a series of sounds or images produced by the human mouth or hands, interpreted by a human brain, and processed into language. In the marketplace of free ideas, a shitty idea will sink all on its own. Racism is not profitable, sexism is not sustainable, homophobic laws and institutions are expensive to maintain. You want historical examples of why the marketplace of free ideas will always trump political correctness? Look at Nazi Germany,* and the Roman Empire as historical examples.

    Nazi Germany didn't fail because of inherent flaws in their ideology. Don't get me wrong: It didn't help the matter that their ideology made everyone their de facto enemy at some point, but that's not what killed the Third Reich. You know what did? Fucking murdering millions of potential recruits into their army in absurdly expensive concentration camps that consumed utterly insane amounts of resources in terms of manpower to maintain. I'm not even talking about the Jews: I'm talking about everyone else who was sent to the camps to get killed off, like the gays. Refusing to allow atheists to service in the SS. So on. What fucking wrecked Nazi Germany was shooting their manpower values in the foot. They could have legitimately invaded Great Britain if they had enough manpower for their planned naval invasion, but they didn't have it. They needed hundreds of thousands more men to complete a successful invasion. Men that they were throwing into a meatgrinder called Auschwitz because of discrimination. Discrimination that they relied upon to maintain an aura of fear that was ever slipping from them every time the facade of their invincibility was cracked and their politically correct media was unable to cover it up.

    Meanwhile, in the United States, they got past at least some of their discrimination against women to not only allow, but actively endorse and encourage them to work in factories producing munitions. The US suffered some of the fewest munition shortages in the war as a result.

    Then, look at the Roman Empire. One of the biggest and longest lasting empires to have ever existed. An empire that went out of its way to set barbarian clans against each other, to recruit mercenaries, to try and "romanize" the non-roman. They were just as ruthless, dictatorial, violent, and they were definitely more deranged than Nazi Germany. (Lookin' at you, Caligula. Lookin' at you.) Yet they actually made an effort to incorporate foreigners into their armies on a repeated basis, to "civilize" and incorporate non-roman peoples in productive ways. They also had the distinct advantage that there was no major world powers who would oppose their regime in the name of freedom. (ala: United States circa World War 2.) In the end, the Roman Empire still fell: You cannot hold a repressed people by force of arms forever, and when the fear factor is gone, all it takes is a couple successful sparks of rebellion to destroy an entire empire, no matter how powerful it may be. The ideal of freedom for the barbarians was cheaper to maintain than the massive, rotted out husk of an infrastructural network that the empire attempted to maintain in terms of repression.

    When the marketplace of free ideas is allowed to operate of its own volition without political or social interference, the ideas which best promote the needs and rights of either the many, or the one, always succeed over those ideas which require suppression of entire groups of people. It takes interfering with that marketplace to allow bad ideas to flourish. You know who else acted in the name of political correctness to silence speech and ideas that was deemed offensive? Nazi Germany. The USSR. Communist China. North Korea. Iran. Medieval Europe & The Catholic Church. Feudal Japan. Imperial Japan. Every single Chinese dynasty which justified itself by the Mandate of Heaven. The Roman Empire...

    You know what happened to most of these? No matter how powerful, no matter how long lasting?

    They rotted from within, stagnated because new ideas were constantly suppressed, and were eventually overthrown by people who wanted the freedom to speak their minds and live their lives the way they wanted.

    Political correctness is the same fucking muzzle used by fascists and dictators to deny people their right to speak their minds. I loathe it. I'm disgusted by it. It's a prettied up way of saying "I support freedom of speech, but only so long as people use it to agree with my values."

    Meanwhile, the marketplace of good ideas is what spawned the LGBT movement banding together and fighting for equal rights. The marketplace of good ideas is what spawned first wave feminism demanding that women should be given the right to vote, and second wave's ideal of ending discrimination in the work place. The marketplace of good ideas is what spawned the notion that ownership over other people is horrible, as Great Britain set sail across the Atlantic to destroy the slave trade.

    When bigots are free to speak their mind, all others are free to see it for what it is, point out how fucking stupid it is, and allow the naive to learn through honest discourse, rather than regimented propaganda.
    The only ones who can feasibly perpetuate a politically correct value (ex: "this joke is too offensive, ban it") are institutions. So, specifically: Large-scale private corporations (especially social media giants like Facebook), the government, and educational institutions. IE, the three pinnacles of instituting any tyrannical regime bent on suppressing people who commit "wrongthink."
    1. Brainwashing children into ideologies at an age where they're too young to question it. (Grade school & junior high.) Or, conversely, reeducation programs for those adults who refuse to capitulate. (Post-secondary.) IE: Creationism 101.
    2. Suppressing the ability for those who disagree with said ideologies from having public platforms to speak upon. (No-platforming, social justice (ex: The Salem Witch Trials, expulsion of communists in 1950's USA, et cetera), government censorship, media censorship, criminal penalties for offensive language, et cetera.)
    3. Consuming and refusing to produce additional content based on a perceived lesser value as a result of discrimination, on a large scale. (Ex: Refusing to allow LGBT couples in big screen movies, "because it wouldn't be profitable.")
    The more you can prevent the spread of good ideas, the easier it is for you to maintain your shitty, discriminatory ones. Like political correctness, which is the primary tool by which people attempt to suppress others.

    *Yes, I know, Godwin's law, haw haw, fuck off. Just saying "Godwin's Law" counters nothing, because it's not a counter argument: It's an observation. A blatantly obvious one, because the last major conflict in human history that took millions of lives in open warfare that affected the entire planet... Was World War II. If we were living in Roman times, would we call it "Caesar's Law" or something equally ludicrous?
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  5. Not a fan of political correctness, because it can seriously harm free thought and creativity. In conversation, I'll gladly try to avoid deliberately making someone uncomfortable, but that's just couresy; I can't accommodate everyone's views constantly, and I have my own views as well. I'm not going to police myself just so others are comfy.

    Just because my opinions clash with yours, or my words or thoughts offend you, doesn't mean you have the right to silence me or anyone else. Live and let live, and stop crying because someone said something you don't like. This is the real world and the real world can hurt.

    So yeah, I agree with him.
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  6. Okay, but the thing is, usually when people trot out things like this or that one Stephen Fry quote, it's to say "HEY YOU CAN'T TELL ME OFF FOR BEING OFFENSIVE" when all the people they're talking to are doing is... exactly what John Cleese is advocating here: speaking out about why it offends them.

    Yes, you're allowed to talk about your shitty, nasty viewpoints. Just like I'm allowed to tell you that you're a shit human being.
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  7. This is some deja vu shit. Weren't we just talking about this a month ago with that whole N-word thread?

    Same thing I said then as I'll say now, I am strongly against creating laws or legislation against certain kinds of speech, but I still go by a general rule of thumb where I'll avoid saying words or calling people certain things because it's needlessly offensive and demeaning. Respect goes a long way, and just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should.
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  8. This whole PC thing is the reason everyone is so fucking offended over everything you say. One person is offended, and the majority feels the need to jump up and coddle that individual, without caring about the rights of everyone else.

    If someone wants to call me a bitch, what do I care? Maybe I am. Maybe I'm not. Their opinion doesn't matter to me. If some black person wants to call me a cracker, who cares? Yes, I am white, and I'm not sorry if my skin color and the possibility that my ancestors owned slaves offends you (They didn't, but no one ever stops to ask what side of the conflict your family was on.), I'm not going to stop being and acting white because you don't like it. I'm not going to stop telling people Merry Christmas or Happy Easter, because they're just damn holidays. If you don't celebrate them, then shrug it off and move on, while being grateful I even took the time to be nice enough to wish you something. Can't eat meat? Than stay at home with your veggie burgers, because I'm ordering me up a big, fat steak and eating it without guilt. Want to wear fur? I don't agree with it, but I'm not going to go destroying your property because you do.
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  9. I'm just going to say that I've never been offended by someone wishing me a Merry Christmas.

    What does piss me off is when I say "Happy Holidays" and people aggressively correct me or go off on me about not saying Merry Christmas. No, I fucking don't mean Merry Christmas- at least not anymore. :|
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  10. And thus the marketplace of free ideas thrives. That's really all that I could or would ever ask for. Let bigoted hatemongering dipshits implode themselves over time and protect those whose right to speak is threatened.
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  11. Like many things, PC started with good intentions (I think) but then just turned into a shithole when people basically hijacked it and turned it into totalitarianism. That's basically my stance on the whole thing. I don't care for PC or social justice in general being the misanthropic bitch I am so I just look at them like the idiots they are.
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  12. But what if they say is true? I.e.: sourced legitimate statistics and facts

    Is it still hate speech or just the honest truth? Seems that's a major issue today.
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  13. Good point raised. The truth sounds like hate to those who hate the truth.
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  14. People still threw a fit when Facebook made significantly more options to gender available, no? Because it was politically correct?

    What was the "brainwashing" and "wrongthink" in those options being available as being politically correct?

    EDIT: I apologize; I do not speak this in an accusatory manner. I am not disagreeing with you. I am trying to understand this very strong perspective you have.
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  15. @Windsong

    If you're talking about things like "x minority is 79% more likely to do x thing" then no, it's not hate speech.

    But we're not talking about hate speech, which isn't protected by law. We're talking about politically correct parlance and having socially-enforced restrictions or consequences.

    Furthermore, the above sentence isn't hate speech. But "x minority is 79% more likely to do x thing, so we should recognize x group as inferior and act accordingly" is. So statistics and fact do not preclude your speech from being hate speech, just for the record.
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  16. Was asking more if it's considered more PC to simply not state facts to prevent hurt feelings but I've got what you mean.

    Only asking because we've had a meeting here at work (an inner city/lower income middle school) where we're not allowed to discuss facts like that because they're "damaging". Seemed the appropriate place.

    Is "X has y% of committing violent crimes" a valid reason for caution or trepidation with regards to dealing with a group? I'm told that it's racist to think that way. To be cautious after the fact and not before.

    (Yes they pushed common core here. It shows.)

    ((If this isn't the place I'll gladly dip out.))
  17. Depends. If you use statistics to dehumanize an entire group of people into a category of undesirables? Then yeah, that's pretty skivvy shit. You have a right to say it, but it makes you a pretty terrible person.

    For example: Lots of school shooters are white males in their 20's.

    I'm a white male in my 20's.

    I am not a school shooter and will never be a school shooter.

    My individuality should come before any group I am associated to. Same with black people from the ghetto. Same with immigrants from Syria. Same with Muslims. Same with white redneck Christians.

    One of the most important core rights in US law and lots of other first world, not shitty nations is Freedom of Association. You can be part of X group without being responsible for the actions and behaviours of X group. What statistics show are overlying issues. Black ghettos have lots of firearms-related murders? Doesn't mean black people from black ghettos are bad apples, means there's a social issue that needs repairing there. Do not damn the individual by the actions of whatever collective he belongs to, that's the first step to dehumanization. That's the first step to staring too far into the abyss and losing yourself in it. People are not numbers. We are not machines. There isn't a "white shooter 1.0" program running around.
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  18. #18 Kooriryu, Feb 2, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
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  19. I actually agree with this. Spot on. Someone studied their history. :ferret:
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  20. Forgot to address this, so doing it now. Double post, whee~

    No. Not the same, actually. :ferret: Facebook isn't censoring or discriminating against anyone in the name of "social decency" or other vague values based on one particular ideological view. If anything, as a service, they heard a demand from a minority of people and decided to offer additional options, they didn't take them away.

    Facebook offering additional options for gender takes nothing away from you. If you want to continue to view the world through a two-gendered looking glass, you're free to do so, and free to continue to associate with said genders, without fear of Facebook censoring you or shutting you down.

    An example of corporate censorship in the name of political correctness would be if Facebook forced you to sign a document acknowledging other genders, and forced you to politically support movements representing other genders, on the punishment of limiting or terminating their services for failure to comply. Now, thankfully, there are competitor services to Facebook, which would happily gobble up the market shares they would bleed out the ass by censoring people with a two-gender world view. Why? Because of the marketplace of free ideas: Discrimination (even against people with backwards world views) is not particularly profitable. They would also have to spend a ton of money hiring people to enforce this practice upon the non-compliant. It's why governments will happily go out of their way to divide people into groups and get them to censor each other through fear.

    I mean, do you really think the censorship of vulgarities on public broadcasting television would survive even two weeks if every TV channel simultaneously decided to go "nah, fuck that?" No. It wouldn't. Government only has as much power as people are willing to give to it, for good or for ill.

    The key to brainwashing someone is force. That there is no other way, or no other alternative, and said methods are insidiously ideological in nature, as opposed to being a reflection of reality. Said world view is then enforced with punishments of varying severity to enforce compliance. Take, for example, a gay conservative and a radical feminist both being banned from speaking publicly at a university. Neither has committed any crimes, neither has called for, say, a jihad against America or something equally insane. Neither has called for concentration camps to murder millions of people. They just both hold shitty personal views about transgendered people. The topic they were going to discuss didn't have anything to do with transgendered people (it was about feminism and censorship), but they were banned anyway. Voices were sapped from the discussion in order to prevent university students from being potentially swayed to a social view that is different than the one the university wishes to promulgate. This is an educational facility: It's not supposed to have political bias, leave alone enforce it. That, in a nutshell, is why I loathe political correctness, and why I liken it to brainwashing and mass scale discrimination.

    tl;dr: A corporation being more inclusive and offering more options for self-identification isn't necessarily politically correct. They're offering additional services to new groups of people without taking away or restricting services to other groups they're already serving. The flag of political correctness waves to enforce social standards, sometimes even to the detriment of diversity. If the two coincide, it's pure happenstance.

    So, basically, in summary.
    • Diversity is when you add new options without taking away old ones, and without restricting people who subscribe to the old ones. IE: Enabling more voices to pitch into the overall marketplace of free ideas. Facebook offering more options for self-identifying in the gender category without forcing people to accept or use them, is an example of diversity.
    • Political Correctness is when you attempt to enforce one particular world view about what is socially acceptable, specifically by restricting and attacking people who refuse to capitulate. If Facebook forced you to use the new gender options, forced you to sign documents in support of them, and banned you for refusing to do either of those things, that's an example of political correctness.
    #20 Brovo, Feb 3, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
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